Bucatini in Lobster and Chorizo Cream Sauce

by Jen on December 5, 2014

As winter draws near, rich and creamy foods start making their way to our dining table. Given the cold weather, there’s something comforting about warm, velvety, creamy, buttery sauces. It’s like wearing a favourite cashmere sweater or scarf around the body. It keeps you cozy.

Now, this recipe is not something I would recommend on a daily, weekly, or even on a monthly basis. I’m not going to lie, it is laden with artery-clogging, cholesterol-laden ingredients enough to give your doctor a heart attack! That said, this Bucatini in Lobster and Chorizo Cream Sauce should be reserved for special occasions.

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Just a warning, this sauce is made almost from scratch, so allow for ample time in the kitchen from start to finish. I poached the lobsters first then separated the meat from the shells, saving some of its cooking water afterwards. Then I used the shells and roe (if any) to infuse the cream with their flavours. It’s, basically, almost like making a lobster bisque soup first.

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Then I cooked the chorizo sausages next. You can use any kind of chorizo for this recipe. I have a butcher at a local shoppe in Toronto’s Kensington market who makes his own Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian, Guatemalan, Mexican, Salvadorean, Santiago Verde, Smoked Spanish, and even chipotle beer chorizo sausages. This is the place, Segovia Casa del Chorizo. I also like how the chorizo adds bite to a rather comfortable  and classy creamy sauce. The deep marine flavour of the lobster highly complements the fresh fruity profile of tomato paste and the warm spices of the sausages. This combination is, in fact, a classic one.

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True, it is a lot of work, but that’s why this is not a regular week day meal. I advise you to reserve this for a special occasion, so all the more your labour of love becomes worthwhile. Hands up if you want some.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Bucatini in Lobster and Chorizo Cream Sauce
Recipe Type: Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 4-6
 
A rich dish that's ideal for cold nights. Note that this recipe calls for the use of (minimum) 2 or (maximum) 3 cooking pots.
Ingredients
  • 2 fresh lobsters of about 1-3/4 pounds each (or alternatively, 4 lobster tails)
  • 1 cup reserved lobster cooking water or lobster stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine (alternatively, use Chardonnay or sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 fresh tarragon sprigs
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • a few strands of Spanish saffron
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 or 4 links chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 1-1/4 pound long pasta, such as spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini (bucatini is my favourite for this recipe)
  • flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
  • smoked paprika for garnish (optional)
  • micro greens for garnish (optional)
  • grated Grana Padano cheese for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a hard boil, then turn the heat to low Add the lobster to the pot one at a time and cover with a lid. Turn the heat to low and let the lobster gently simmer for 10 minutes. Repeat step with other lobster. If using lobster tails, simmer all 4 at the same time for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer whole lobster (or lobster tails) to a dish and let cool. Reserve some of the lobster cooking water.
  3. When cool enough to handle the lobster, snip with kitchen shears the shells of the tail down the "backbone" and along the claws to retrieve meat. Also save any roe in the body and set aside in a separate bowl. Discard tomalley (green stuff). Reserve the lobster shells and set aside.
  4. Melt butter in a heavy pot over high heat. Add reserved lobster shells and sauté for 3 minutes in the butter.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add tomato paste. Stir for 3 minutes.
  6. Add wine, vinegar, garlic, and the whole sprigs of tarragon, parsley, and saffron. Let it come to a medium boil, about 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the cream and boil on medium heat for another 2 minutes.
  8. Add some lobster water or stock from the first simmer, about ¼ to ½ cup, depending on how "loose" you want the sauce to be.
  9. Reduce heat to medium low again and simmer until the lobster flavour infuses the cream, about 20 minutes. Keep adjusting the heat so as not to let the sauce go on a hard boil.
  10. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a large bowl. The strained sauce will be reheated at a later time. This will yield about 4 cups of lobster sauce.
  11. Clean the pot used for the sauce or prepare a new pot. Heat some olive oil.
  12. Sauté the chorizo sausage slices until just cooked and no longer translucent.
  13. Add the strained lobster sauce to the chorizo. Simmer in very low heat and add the reserved lobster meat into the sauce.
  14. Gently poach the lobster meat and chorizo in the sauce for 5 minutes, adjusting the heat so that it simmers only and not boil.
  15. Meanwhile, prepare another large pot of salted boiling water and cook the pasta to al dente.
  16. Drain the pasta and return to the same pot.
  17. Ladle the lobster and chorizo cream sauce on to the pasta. Gently toss until each strand is coated in the sauce. If the sauce seems too strong or thick, you can loosen it by mixing in some of the remaining lobster cooking water. Add 2 tablespoons at a time when adjusting.
  18. Serve warm.

 

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Vanilla Cookies

by Jen on November 25, 2014

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So, first things first. Life happened.

Item number #1 – Those three kids I have to raise (and the husband, of course).

Item number #2 – That new(ish) job I have.

About the family, I love them all to the moon and back! Enough said. And about the job, I love it, too. Not on the same level as the family, but I really, really like it. It’s not the glam travel blogging or food blogging career that I dreamt one day would catapult me into greatness, but it’s a steady job in the government that pays well, has generous benefits, and excellent growth opportunities. Along with my children, I think I’m keeping this one.

Since my last post (eeks, January 2014), I have been busy honing my skills at the new job instead of here, in this tiny blog. In the blogosphere, I feel like I’ve been left behind in the dust as my peers surpass me in experience and clout. Sigh. No regrets, though.

I’ve quietly (and sadly) put away – and even thrown away – many of my photography and styling props. Wooden boards. Fabric scraps. Dishes and cutlery. They all have sat silent for quite some time. I had even sold my Canon 5D  and those beautiful prime lenses, trading it in for a much smaller CMC (Compact Mirrorless Camera – hey, they still have interchageable lenses). So, if you do notice a difference in the “feel” of my photographs, it’s because I now use a Fuji X-E2. Mind you, I think the Fuji X-E2 is comparable and almost at-par to my DSLR, albeit the minor differences. But I don’t let that bother me because here are some words I live by - “It’s not the weapon, it’s the hunter.” It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer. Case in point: iPhone-only Instragrammers. Have you seen some of their photos lately?

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Right! So I’m back blogging today with something vanilla. Safe and boring, you say? Well, safe and boring sometimes happen in our lives and that’s OK. Except if you are a Kardashian, I suppose. But how will you know adventure and excitement if you do not know safe and boring at the other end of the spectrum? Yes, play is fun, but safe and boring get the job done. Just like these Vanilla Cookies. They get the job done. A simple kids’ baking project? Done. Snacks for the kids? Done. An afternoon pick-me-upper? Done. An easy potluck contribution? Done. A practical holiday gift? Done. See what I’m saying?

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-24 cookies
 
A simple vanilla cookie recipe that can satisfy sweet cravings.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (225 g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (110 g) icing sugar
  • 2-1/4 (250 g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ~~ To finish ~~
  • granulated sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 F
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and icing sugar on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour. Mix until just combined.
  4. Place the dough on a surface lightly dusted with flour (the dough will be crumbly at this point). With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick.
  5. Use your choice of cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Carefully transfer to lined cookie sheets, placing about ½ inch apart.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookie has set.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle cookies with sugar while still warm. Cool on wire racks.

 

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Gluten Free Sour Cream Breakfast Muffins

by Jen on January 18, 2014

*This GF Sour Cream Breakfast Muffin recipe is gluten-free, Paleo- and SCD-friendly*

Lately, I have been sleeping a little easier at night. For two reasons: 1) my youngest has decided to let me, and 2) I have an awesome new government job.

It seems like eons ago when I left my job in the public health sector. I’m not going to bore you with the different iterations of my job search rigamarole during the last few months, but here’s what I can say: I am so happy and grateful for all the opportunities I have today!

And those few pounds I’ve been obsessing to lose? Lost them by cutting out wheat in my life and spending a little more time in the gym! No bread, no pasta, no worries!

But me, go wheat-free forever? It’s like asking me to wear wool in the summer (even in the winter)…Torture! So instead of getting stuck in a dietary quagmire, I allow myself to enjoy wheat products several times a month. However, the family can indulge whenever they want.

But not today.

These muffins, as the name states, are gluten-free. They’re also refined sugar-free by the use of raw honey. This is the type of recipe, though, that does not take away too much from the familiarity and comfort of a regular muffin. Proof of concept not required. Nobody will suspect anything! Sure, it’s considerably less sweet and it tastes more like a soft, pillowy bread, but I am sure you can convince your picky “customers” (i.e. kids and spouses) to enjoy them for what they are!

Soft, airy, sour dough-y morning treats, these wholesome muffins can be packed in a lunch box or eaten on-the-go. They’re great straight out of the oven and can hold well to reheating. My only complaint is, we’re always fighting for the last piece.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten Free Sour Cream Breakfast Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 to 12 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 50 grams yam flour
  • 40 grams tapioca flour
  • 10 grams garbanzo flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons raw honey
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Grease a regular 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper, ungreased.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C).
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all the flours together with the baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan or guar gum.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg. Add honey, sour cream, butter, salt, and the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin cup at ⅔ full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  6. Serve with whipped butter or sprinkle with icing sugar.

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{ 18 comments }

Roasted Bone Marrow Salad

September 13, 2013
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*This recipe is gluten-free, Paleo and SCD-friendly* Have you heard of bulalo? Bulalo is a dish of beef shank and marrow soup from the southern Luzon province of the Philippines. As the fat and collagen from the bones melt into the water they are boiled in, this produces an unctuous and flavourful broth that immediately […]

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Chicken Kebabs, Middle Eastern-Style

August 29, 2013
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*This recipe is Paleo-friendly and gluten-free* It’s been almost two months since I last posted, and there have been many things percolating from my end lately. I do have an explanation for my absence; but first, I wanted to thank everyone who stuck around while I was M.I.A in blogosphere. I appreciate it! So…I left […]

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Ravioli in Spiced Butter Sauce

July 12, 2013
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Dare I admit to it? Yes, I buy packaged ravioli…and I like it! There, I’ve said it. You can judge me now. That’s just the kind of person I am; the type who thinks shortcuts are OK at home. True, I am flawed in my ways, but I am not ashamed. Let me explain more […]

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Honey Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Purple Slaw and Chipotle Crema

July 5, 2013
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I know a few people who become intimidated at the thought of making homemade tacos because of the many layers and components involved in the process. But the truth of the matter is, it is their many layers and components that make tacos really easy to prepare at home. It is a matter of organizing […]

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Asian-Style Shiitake Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy

June 27, 2013
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*This recipe is vegan and Paleo-friendly* It’s been such a sad time for me lately. Last week, I heard of a former school mate who passed away suddenly because of a heart attack. Heart attack at the age of 40!!! His third child was only one-week old when it happened. Then, I also received news […]

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Almond Butter Cookies with Fleur de Sel

June 10, 2013
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*These Almond Butter Cookies are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and protein-packed.* You didn’t think I’d go a while without posting something sweet, did you? Of course not. You know me; I can’t help having a treat here and there. “In moderation” is always my philosophy…and nowadays, I try to make my treats a little healthier […]

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Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls

June 2, 2013
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*This Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls recipe is vegan if you omit the mayo in the dipping sauce* In the past, whenever I go to Asian restaurants, I couldn’t resist a plate of deep fried spring rolls, deep fried wontons, deep fried chicken, deep fried tofu, and even deep fried bananas. See a pattern here? What’s […]

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